Supreme Court affirms five-year sentence with hard labour for rape of minor
The Supreme Court on Friday affirmed the five-year jail term with hard labour passed on Afor Lucky for raping a minor.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the option of N300,000 fine was also upheld by the apex court.
Delivering the judgment, Justice Sylvester Ngwuta held that it was proved beyond reasonable doubt that the convict had forceful carnal knowledge of the minor.
Ngwuta said: “The convict has successfully killed something in the psyche of the victim, leaving the poor girl devastated and with a permanent scar for life.
“The principle of inviolability of a sentence not appealed against, which I am duty bound to apply herein, most regrettably and painfully appears to give credence to the saying that the law is an ass.
“Maybe the asinine attribute is not inherent in the law but in the application of its provision as amply demonstrated in this case.
“The provision has provided for 14 years maximum jail term for rape but the trial judge decided to give Lucky five.
“In conclusion, having resolved the five issues, except one, against the convict, I therefore dismiss the appeal for want of merit.
“The judgment of the Court below which affirmed the judgment of the trial Court is hereby affirmed.”
The convict was charged with rape, punishable under Section 358 of the Criminal Code Cap C21 Vol.1 Laws of Delta State of Nigeria, 2006.
The particulars of offence held that Lucky, on or about April 7, 2007 at Oleh in Delta State, had carnal knowledge of the five-year-old girl.
Lucky was tried and convicted as charged in the High Court of Delta State.
Dissatisfied with the decision of the trial court, the convict approached the Court of Appeal, Benin City, which dismissed his appeal on November 17, 2014.
Further dissatisfied with the outcome of his appeal, Lucky sought the intervention of the apex court on six grounds of appeal.
The convict had asked the court to decide whether the Court of Appeal was right to have held that his counsel conceded that rape was committed.
He had also asked the court to say whether the Court of Appeal did not speculate when held that he (convict) had sexual intercourse with the minor.
The convict further asked that court to decide whether in the circumstances of the case, the Court of Appeal was right in holding that the defence of alibi was not open to him.
He also wanted the apex court to decide whether the evidence of the medical doctor, in the circumstances of the case, amounted to corroboration.
And finally, the convict had asked the most superior court to decide whether allocution amounts to admission of guilt.
An allocution or allocutus is a formal statement made to the court by the defendant who has been found guilty, prior to being sentenced.